Business Always Vigorous
( Originally Published 1902 )
Dismiss the idea forever from your mind that because business is running smoothly and satisfactorily it surely will continue to do so from its own momentum, aided with a little effort now and then.
There was one force that built up the business-the same force must be applied to it every day of its existence and that force is:
Intelligent Effort.-Conditions constantly change. Keep in touch with new conditions. New forces enter the field. Watch them! These forces are different from the old ones and unexpected moves may be made to your detriment.
Open, watchful eyes and a clear, cool and active brain must be the possession of him who would succeed to-day. Whatever technical knowledge in relation to his business he is supplied with so much the better. And there is no single knowledge more important to a business to-day than advertising. Advertising is the great salesman—he voices his arguments through printer's ink and he should always be of theliving-present, sound in argument, happy in expression and dressed so as to win and please the eye.
Some may say that illustrations and types are matters that need not bother the merchant much for they are fixed commodities and can be had anywhere at any time.
There is a taint of unsoundness in this logic—but let it pass! One ever present, ever live feature of advertising beyond the power of dismissal by any advertiser is: WHAT To SAY?
Every advertisement must be thought out and written. The business man who advertises must regularly answer the pertinent question of WHAT TO SAY?
The goods and prices that are clamoring for advertising recognition force the issue: WHAT TO SAY?
The dull business of the present preys upon the merchant's mind and stirs up the eternal advertising question: WHAT TO SAY?
The sale about to begin asks with a great interrogation point the conundrum: WHAT TO SAY?
The sale already under way and which must be fed with the food of good advertising propounds the problem: WHAT TO SAY?
The new goods—dainty, delicate, desirable; stylish, servicable, sensible—the harbingers of the coming season's fashions, fads and fancies—whisper with gentle but irresistible insistence the ticklish question: WHAT TO SAY?
The old goods that are eye-sores because not in the public's possession long before, ask, in a gruff, hasty voice—as though they themselves were tired of lingering on the merchant's shelves: WHAT TO SAY?
The march of business inprovement keeps quick time to the tune to which these words are answered: WHAT TO SAY?"
The standstill of business under inert or incompetent direction seems to hush itself because there is no answer to: WHAT TO SAY?
The retrograde movement of trade gives the abject shuffle of the bankrupt, because of the inept and unbusiness-like answers to: WHAT TO SAY?
WHAT TO SAY? is the great question that confronts every business man who advertises. If he answers it right it is probably because he has properly replied to the other great question: WHAT TO D0? or in other words he did what he should in his storekeeping—the right expression of which appears in his advertising.
Anyone can see that constant, intelligent thought and activity are necessary in keeping a business and its advertising up to date.